Appointing ‘trained donation practitioners’ results in a higher family consent rate in the Netherlands: a multicenter study

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The consent process for organ and tissue donation is complex, both for families and professionals. To help professionals in broaching this subject we performed a multicenter study. We compared family consent to donation in three hospitals between December 2007 and December 2009. In the intervention hospital, trained donation practitioners (TDP) guided 66 families throughout the time in the ICU until a decision regarding donation had been reached. In the first control hospital, without any family guidance or training, 107 families were approached. In the second control hospital ‘hostesses’, who were not trained in donation questions, supported 99 families during admittance. A total of 272 families were requested to donate. We primarily compared consent rates, but also asked families about their experiences through a questionnaire. Family consent rate was significantly higher in the intervention hospital: 57.6% (38/66), than in the control hospitals: 34.6% (37/107) and 39.4% (39/99). The 69% response rate to the questionnaire –˜5 months after death – showed no confounding variables that could have influenced the consent rate. Appointing TDPs in the intervention hospital to guide families during admittance and the donation decision-making process, results in higher family consent rates.

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